Constance Stuart Larrabee has till now been a little remembered pioneering and brave photo-journalist who made her name in what was in her time a very male (and dangerous) world.
UK branch secretary, Nicky Bicket (1973F)
reports: Peter Elliott
(W, 1967) has just published a book on her, Constance: One Road to Take. The Life and Photography of Constance Stuart Larrabee (1914-2000)
and he shared the journey he embarked on to document this extraordinary woman who spent the first half of her life in South Africa and the second, after her marriage, in the United States. Initially she covered - in photographs - the lives and stories of the African communities
in South Africa, exposing the hardships of the migrant workers and the poor rural communities (not only black) eeking out an existence in the face of the increasing desperation caused by the start of forced removals.
Constance Stuart Larrabee
At the start of the war she was engaged to cover the Allied advance in France and in 1944 and 1945 followed and photographed the South African troops in Italy.
The book and Peter Elliott
Peter's book, motivated by his interest in art and history, includes ninety photographs which reflect the depth and breadth of Constance's work and in particular her technical skill and her relationships with her subjects.
Last night (7 May 2019) top and tailed by very drinkable South African wine from wine maker Bruce Jack
(G, 1987) twenty-five ODs and friends (see list at the end of this post) thoroughly engaged in Peter's presentation which was held in the offices of Stonehage Fleming. Our huge thanks go to Hamish Sinclair
(S, 1992) for his continued support of the UK branch in making his firm's facilities available to us.
Apologies are given for the poor quality of these photographs which were taken on a phone (the branch secretary wished more than once for Constance's first camera, the Kodak Box Brownie with which she performed miracles).